Fun statistics with Kanji (is that a redundancy, or an oxymoron?)

Had our only real snow of the season today. Me and my classmates were feeling a bit disinterested in learning new kanji, so we started playing our favorite game of “Stump the Japanese Teacher”. We asked the questions below, and didn’t get very far. So, I dug around a bit, found answers as follows:

  1. Which kanji has the most syllables? The following have 5:
  • consent 承 (うけたまわ)
  • intention 志 (こころざし)
  • imperial decree 詔 (みことのり) - not found in WK, found in jisho and google translate
  1. Which kanji has the most onyomi readings?
  • These have 5 readings each:

  • These have 4 readings each:

  • These have 3 readings each:

  1. What are the most common onyomi readings?
    Top five: (we spit these out when we can’t remember, sometimes we get lucky)
  • しょう (in 77 kanji!)
  • こう
  • かん
  • とう

These were based on the top 1945 most popular kanji learned in Japanese schools, data from JMDict.

Any additions or suggestions, please post!


The bane of my existence. Used in signs and notices everywhere and impossible (for me) to remember.

Love the stats you came up with! Definitely a redundancy :slight_smile:

The top two readings (at least) for WK are also the same!

Rfindley also made a stats thread (it’s archived now) that lists all the readings on Wk in order (among other things) based on data pulled from people using his idigtech stats site! It’s neat! : )

Cool to know these things too. : D

生 has at least three readings as well! (I don’t see it on your list, but let me know if it’s there!)

ETA: I just realized you specified onyomi. My b…

I imagine there’s more, since this is only as far as it showed in the pop-up.
without doing any more searching…wow, just wow.

Those aren’t onyomi readings though!

Man, I thought we were at the limit with 予め / あらかじめ… but I suppose i’ve ain’t seen nothing yet.